If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, then financial success is what you’re after. But other than capital, hard work, and a sound business idea, how do you increase the chances of success?
It starts by appreciating the various components of any business that must exist in order to succeed. Missing just one of these factors is a potential recipe for disaster.
The following are what many consider to be the ten pillars of business success:
Companies operating outside the law, or choosing to ignore regulatory requirements, will not last long. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why compliance is essential for business success. From data map live standards meant to protect privacy to safety practices based on OSHA recommendations, regulatory compliance is how businesses avoid fines, sanctions, and labor stoppages. It’s also how companies keep workers and customers protected from risk.
Every entrepreneur knows having a business plan is the easy part; making it happen is where things get difficult. The way to do it is through logistics, though what that means will vary from one business to another. For instance, some companies rely on shipping to receive products, while others need shipping to send products. Some organizations are forced to provide on-site housing for employees, while others juggle with a network of work-from-home professionals. No matter what, logistics are critical.
Like logistics, security means different things for different companies. But whether your business requires security guards or operates entirely online, security will play a critical role one way or another. With that said, virtually every modern enterprise can benefit from baseline business-grade cybersecurity.
From self-checkout lanes at supermarkets to robot servers at restaurants, it seems businesses everywhere are doing away with as much human labor as possible. Despite the cost-savings of such a move, the technology is not quite there yet. Nearly every business under the sun still needs employees to succeed and will for many years to come.
Similar to the military’s distinction between “grunts” and commissioned officers, businesses depend on a balance between employees and managers. Managers are the officers on the ground, responsible for leading the troops and ensuring their objectives are fulfilled. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why management is essential to business success.
Knowing where every dollar comes from and where it’s going is absolutely critical for business success. The prime advantage of accurate bookkeeping is it lets business owners make smarter business decisions. It also keeps your organization in the good graces of government in the event of an audit. Fortunately, accounting software has never made it easier for companies – particularly smaller ones – to benefit from bookkeeping.
Technology is the engine driving business innovation. Without it, entrepreneurs would struggle to conceive of new ways to provide customers with products and services. Time after time, established businesses risk becoming obsolete due to a reluctance to invest in new technologies. At the same time, startups often seize on the vacuum created by a lack of technological utilization.
Most business owners see overhead as a bad thing. While nobody wants to waste money on unnecessary expenditures, overheard often includes things that aid in providing a product or service. The problem people have with overhead – good and bad – is the inability to develop a straightforward accounting of its relationship with sales and profits. In other words, while you can’t determine how buying office supplies helps your business, you know you need them. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how overhead – despite its negative connotations – is a pillar of business success.
It doesn’t matter how great the product or service is if potential customers aren’t aware of its existence. This is where marketing enters the picture. It’s how businesses big and small manage to reach their target market. While not every business can afford commercial spots on big networks or radio ads during the workday, the array of marketing options is wide enough that every business, regardless of size or age, must incorporate cost-effective marketing into their operation.
Even if the plan is to serve a small but consistent customer base, growth is essential for business. That’s because growth is the only practical way of outpacing inflation. Fortunately, growth doesn’t have to be particularly impressive in order to outpace inflation. But even if it’s half of one percent each year, it’s enough to prevent the creep of inflation from overtaking your profits or forcing you to raise prices by a significant margin.
With so much going into business success, it can be hard to pin down the factors that matter most. But you stand the best chance of success by paying particular attention to the pillars included in this article – and making sure to incorporate them into your business.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, finance, and travel.